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Free festival Googfest wows with Canberra line-up of SAFIA, Amber Nichols and more

A crowd of 10,000 is expected to gather on Googong's Rockley Oval on Saturday for a return of Googfest, a free family-friendly mini music festival.

The all-local line-up boasts successful band SAFIA and The Voice's Amber Nichols, as well as the Burley Griffin, Guyy​ & the Fox and the Kaleid Trio.

Ex-contestant of The Voice Amber Nichols will be playing at Googfest at Googong this weekend.
Ex-contestant of The Voice Amber Nichols will be playing at Googfest at Googong this weekend.  Photo: Rohan Thomson

Nichols, who made Jessie J's top three in The Voice 2015, said she had heard the inaugural Googfest was popular and a lot of fun last year.

"I know that people will want to hear me sing the songs I performed on The Voice so I'll throw in a couple of those," she said.

Canberra band SAFIA will also be headlining the event which is expected to attract up to 10,000 people
Canberra band SAFIA will also be headlining the event which is expected to attract up to 10,000 people Photo: Supplied

"I'm also going to be testing a lot of songs that will be on my new album, which I guess is a little bit more indie-pop, a little bit more ambient, more edgy and a bit more electronic that my other stuff."

Despite being preoccupied with her baby girl, Olive, she hopes to release her new album later in the year.

"I just don't want to rush it. I want it to be something that I'm proud of, has integrity and actually reflects me."

While SAFIA, which scored two places in Triple J's Hottest 100 this year, had been swamped with touring, they said they enjoy coming home to play when they can.

"I like it especially even more now," band member Ben Woolner said.

"I think, growing up as a band, there was always the mindset that you had to go to Melbourne or something if you wanted to try and make it, but then the internet kind of grew and things started happening organically."

Googong project director Malcolm Leslie said last year's turnout of around 4000 people was a huge success and expects it to more than double on Saturday.

"I'd be surprised if everyone from last year didn't come back and haven't told their family and friends," he said.

"We are hoping one day it has the status of A Day on the Green [in Victoria] and it is certainly growing fast. The fact that it is a free event is very attractive to people and we have very high quality performers."

There will be food stalls at the event, but people's own picnics and alcohol are welcome.

The concert plays at 5pm and wraps up with a firework finale at 9pm.

Free shuttle buses will run from Queanbeyan, Woden and Tuggeranong. More information at googong.net/news/events.php